photo by Sheri Dixon

Monday, September 13, 2010

Update on a Broken Heart

So the Oncor guy called me this morning (stated also on the original post) just as promised. He told me he had good news and bad news- the outstandingly good news (for him) is that the lines in question are not, in fact, Oncor lines. Which was bad news for me since it meant I'd have to get all worked up all over again...But he did tell me whose lines they are and which office I needed to call- Trinity Valley Electric Coop in Athens. My thanks to Mr. Hill at Oncor for being so courteous and caring.

So I called there and talked to the manager, who was JUST as polite as Mr. Hill at Oncor had been, promised to look into it and that either the line foreman or himself would get back to me by tomorrow morning at the latest.

Less than 30 minutes later, the line foremen called, and he was on his way out to the property.

We walked end to end of it and he explained how they were instructed to clear-cut/scrape everything in the right of way (30ft on either side of the lines), and he added that the last time it had been done was 7 years ago- before we bought it- and that they HAD tried to contact us before cutting the chain. Since we don't live out there and only one neighbor is in sight of our place (and they were at work)the only person they could think of to ask (and it's a testament to the foreman's knowing the area that he REMEMBERED this used to be part of "the Parker Place") was old Mr. Parker, who'd given our place to his son...who lives in Dallas and sold it to us (and old Mr. Parker's still a little bitter about that- the land had been in their family for over 75 years). We never met old Mr. Parker, and considering the circumstances, he'd never known who Chris sold the land to. The foreman said they'd cut everything before and after us while trying to figure out who to contact and finally had to just go in and do it- as per their instructions.

And while alot of what they did is "by the book", some things he was quick to admit were clearly NOT- he made no effort to hide his anger at the mangled gardens surrounded by broken little pines and oaks. "That there was just wrong, no doubt about it", he said.

Bottom line as of today-
-they WILL repair the fence (not even on our property but that gives ready access to what's left of our wetlands to any good ol' boy with a mud truck) on the far corner that's now down.
-they WILL re-seed all 4 creek banks that were torn up and scraped to help prevent erosion
-he will personally see to it that the men actually on the crew who destroyed the gardens WILL repair the raised beds and they WILL replace the little perennial fruits/veggies that were in there. He asked if I wanted their guys to do the planting, and I said no- let Alec do that.
-he WILL try to get me a new mimosa tree- on closer inspection, since it was growing out of the creek bank on an angle, while the BRANCHES were over the creek (and in the easement) the tree itself was NOT.

And while we were standing there he talked to their Environmental Person who's getting the exact procedures regarding wetland areas. I need to find the report the biologist did about how TxP&W said for us to maintain it, and the Environmental person is calling me tomorrow morning to work it out. When I talked to the biologist Friday, she said to help it heal quicker, we should rake out the ruts, and per the foreman they WILL do that either with a tractor or by hand if the biologist says NO MORE HEAVY EQUIPMENT.

He did say once we move out there we need to put up our "Designated Wildlife Habitat" sign- and have copies of it with our phone number on every property line that the wires cross so there's no question in the future.

I have to say I've been very impressed with how all the 'higher ups' are treating me and my concerns.

I also met the bank appraiser out there- the one who's telling the bank how much of what we're asking for they can actually lend us and the first words out of his mouth when he stepped out of his truck after following me back to the homesite was

"What a perfect place for a log home".

Isn't it just?


  1. I'm so happy to hear that there are managers and foremen that are actually *understanding* your anger and hurt. As you say, I'm really impressed by that. It still sucks in a major way, but there is some small comfort in these folks understanding your feelings. And making an effort.

  2. Oh, what a relief! I was up here getting all worked up on your behalf!!